Skip to main content

tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  June 13, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EDT

12:00 am
one of them plays in new york. the buffalo bills play in orchard park new york, right outside of buffalo. the jets and giants play not in new york but rather in new jersey. that's right. the new york jets and the new york giants are both based out of new jersey. they in fact share a stadium in new jersey called the met life stadium. when the jets are playing there, the stadium is lit up in green, very fancy. when the giants are playing there, the stadium is lit up in blue. i think i like the blue. if you happened to be driving by met life stadium in new jersey yesterday morning, your face was probably a nice bright shade of red because this is what it looked like, bumper to bumper traffic, gridlock, nobody moving much more than a few feet for hours. now, was there some big sporting event at met life stadium or some big concert causing all of that traffic? no, it was not. it was monday morning. there was instead a giant water main break, a 12 inch water main buried beneath the ground near met life stadium erupted
12:01 am
yesterday morning around 3 a.m. turning one of the busiest roads into new york city to what looked more like a parking lot. traffic was backed up for miles just because of a water main break. it want just new jersey. let's say you were due in court at the hargrove district courthouse in baltimore, maryland. what you would have found when you showed up for court this morning was the entire courthouse was shut down. it was shut down today after you guessed it, a giant water main broke nearby. >> and in st. louis, they had to shut down lanes of hampton avenue and a water main break. it's one of the most heavily traveled roads in st. louis. and in atlanta, a giant water main break there as well. now, this was the scene yesterday afternoon in pearl city, hawaii, right outside of honolulu. >> reporter: they've seen water main breaks along this drive before but this one made an even bigger splash monday afternoon.
12:02 am
>> i heard the noise, started hearing rocks flying, some kind of glass noise and i heard water whipping out from the ground. it was like old faithful. >> it was just water falling, gushing through. >> they're going to get flooded down there though, huh? >> it was like a river. i was calling my mom crying. all you could hear was the roar of the water flying past me. >> every day across the united states an estimated 700 water mains break. 700. these water main breaks cause traffic delays, they cause damage to lives and property, they cause disruptions in the drinking water supply, which they carry to our homes. maybe you say it's supposed to be like this. maybe this is the cost of having water.
12:03 am
no. every few years the american society of civil engineers issues a national report card on america's infrastructure. the latest report gave us the grade of d, sad. but when it comes to water infrastructure, it was even worse. we got a grade of d minus. part of the reason is our water mains in country are really, really old. evansston, illinois had eight break. the pipe's contact with the ground for more and 86 years is the problem. we are now in crisis mode when it comes to the water infrastructure this this country. the cost to fix it, about $335 billion over the next 20 years. that's a lot of money. that's the bad news. the good news, there has never been a better time to fix it than right now. things like aging and broken water main, that is exactly what
12:04 am
we're talking about when we talk about infrastructure. and infrastructure just happens to be the best deal in the economy right now. here are the reasons: we have construction workers who aren't productively employed. the unemployment rate in that sector is about 14%, it's a depression. the global slowdown has meant a slowdown in construction costs because raw materialss are cheap because countries like china and india aren't using as many of them. we have factories lying dormant that could be making those materials and employing people to make those materials and we have money that is on the table to borrow for essentially less than nothing. let's be clear -- putting this stuff off is not fiscally responsible. it's like a dollar of borrowing, a dollar to pay later. when you delay the maintenance, that dollar today can become 50 tomorrow as a bridge you were going to fix has now collapsed. so we need to do it, it cheap to do it and it gives people jobs. it is an unbelievable deal.
12:05 am
in any world we should be doing it and yet we're not. there be are some things in american politics and policy we should be having real armies about. when mitt romney says we don't need more public sector workers, it's an, ament we should have. it's an argument on the size of the public sector but if he thinks we shouldn't be spending as much money on teachers, that's also an argument we should have but nobody thinks we don't need to fix water mains. literally nobody thinks that, not mitt romney, not barack obama, not even archconservative members of the u.s. senate like james inhofe. it's the sort of thing republican congressman paul ryan called sugar high economics, a temporary boost to the economy, not much else. i don't agree but we can have that discussion but you can't say that doing this evenings
12:06 am
like fixing water mains is sugar high economics. you get something tangible in the end. you get a new water main. not all infrastructure is what you can see with your eyes. roads and bridges. sometimes it's the stuff under your feet, bringing water to your family. even if tomorrow the economy recovered completely, we still as a country need to fix our water mains. it's one of the things we need to do no matter what. now is not only as good a time to do it, it's a better time than almost ever to do it. instead we have traffic pileups for hours and hour as we sit and do nothing. if now is the time to do it, why aren't we doing it? >> senator sanders, thank you for being with us tonight. >> great for being with you. >> why aren't we?
12:07 am
>> everything you said is true. everybody knows you have to invest in infrastructure. we can create millions of decent paying jobs in the long term and i speak as a former mayor, you obviously save money because you don't have to do constant repairs as we've just seen. the simple reason is i'm afraid that you have a republican mindset that says, hmm, let's see we can repair the infrastructure, save money long time, create millions of jobs, bad idea. barack obama will look good. and we've got to do everything that we can to make barack obama look bad. so despite the fact that we had a modest bipartisan transportation bill, roads, bridges, public transit pass the senate with over 70 votes, inhofe, the most conservative guy in the senate, working with barbara boxer, we can't get that
12:08 am
bill moving in the house of representatives. so if you're asking me why, i would say hundred percent political. if it's good for america, if it creates jobs, if it's good for barack obama, we can't do it. >> now, some republicans say and some people say didn't we do infrastructure a couple years ago? you heard a lot in the stimulus we had done infrastructure. how come we have all of this outstanding -- >> because we ignored the needs for a long, long, time. yeah, we did put infrastructure in the state of vermont but we need money for the other 49 states as well. it's not only roads, bridges, water systems, it's mass transportation. it is rail. china is building high-speed rail all over the place. we are not. our rail system is in many ways deteriorating. we have schools aging, tunnels that need work, we have an enormous amount of work that is ready to go right now and it is beyond comprehension that our republican friends will not
12:09 am
support infrastructure legislation. >> now, one of the things i think people sometimes miss in the infrastructure conversation is for the last couple of years we used to do infrastructure bills for many years at a time, five years, six years. in the last few years, we've passed nine and that's meant states and localities can't plan future projects because they don't know what the federal government will be doing in a couple months. making the dollars less effective because people can't plan around it. >> absolutely. every day we delay getting this modest transportation bill done, we're in a serious problem. in vermont you don't do roads in january and february. we do them in the summertime. the construction companies need to know they're ready to go and they need to know it now. >> one of the things we used to do in infrastructure is we had a gas tax for it. it was a tax on gasoline.
12:10 am
ronald reagan raised it by a nickel when he invested in infrastructure. one thing that's been remarkable to me in the last couple of years, just showing how far both parties have moved right on the tax issue is even democrats refuse to broach the idea of a gas tax. i wonder where we'll fund it in a sustained way going forward. >> that's a good question. i'm not a great fan of the gas tax. i come from a rural state, a lot of people traveling to work and they're making 10 bucks an hour. the wealthiest people are playing the lowest effective tax rates in decades. there are ways to create money without doing it in a regressive way in my view. >> senator, thank you so much for being around tonight. >> my pleasure. >> and one of the brainiest, best equipped policy people among republican leaders is saying stuff he cannot seriously believe. that is next. [ male announcer ] what have you heard about miracle whip?
12:11 am
wow, that's harsh. but that's what you've heard... what you would actually taste is sweet, tangy and creamy. sounds interesting... doesn't it? ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] at nissan, our ideal is innovation. 5 all-new models over the next 15 months, including a completely reimagined altima. welcome to our most innovative year ever. nissan. innovation for all. ♪ begins with back pain and a choice. take advil, and maybe have to take up to four in a day. or take aleve, which can relieve pain all day with just two pills. good eye.
12:12 am
which can relieve pain all day with just two pills. morning, boys. so, i'm working on a cistern intake valve, and the guy hands me a locknut wrench. no way! i'm like, what is this, a drainpipe slipknot? wherever your business takes you, nobody keeps you on the road like progressive commercial auto. [ flo speaking japanese ] [ shouting in japanese ] we work wherever you work. now, that's progressive. call or click today.
12:13 am
do you wish you could do this? yeah, me, too. stick around for a gravity defying moment of geek. spidey costume not included unfortunately. havi ng a n irregular heartbeat havi called atrial fibrillation ng a puts you at 5 times greater risk of stroke. don't wait. go to afibstroke.com for a free discussion guide to help you talk to your doctor about reducing your risk. that's afibstroke.com.
12:14 am
i'm bobby jindal, governor of louisiana. tonight we witnessed a great moment in the history of our republic in the very chamber where congress once voted to abolish slavery, our first african-american president stepped forward to address the state of our union. >> that was louisiana governor
12:15 am
bobby jindal's big entree into national politics. and thanks to his delivery in that speech, the republican response to president obama's first joint address to congress, bobby jindal is probably the most well known as the republican who got made fun of by kenneth from "30 rock." >> this jindal guy sounds like a real goober-notorial representative. >> i always felt bad for bobby jindal. he's in a very, very tough time slot, following the president after his first address to congress. i like jindal. he's a wonk. most politicians get into politics and as a nasty side effect have to learn about policy, too. jindal did policy first. he's a rhodes scholar from oxford, worked in the health and human services department in the george bush administration. i don't always agree with his work but he takes it seriously. but here's the thing, there are things that people do to you, like teasing you for the primetime speech and then there are things you do to yourself,
12:16 am
like tossing around nonsense like this. >> i suspect many in the obama administration really don't believe in private enterprise. they see business something to be endured so they can provide tax money for government programs. >> that was bobby jindal on friday where he took it upon his to destroy himself as serious policy guy or at least harm it, launching into the ridiculous hyperbole. it's clear why he's doing it. in republican party circles, everybody is doing it. this is now a gop litmus test. you must proclaim two things if you want to be in the republican party.
12:17 am
one is taxes should never, ever, ever, ever, ever go up, never, ever. and the other is barack obama is super crazy anti-business. >> i can't imagine a more anti-business president than the one we've got now. >>ets been an anti-business, anti-investment agenda. >> president obama doesn't understand you can't be pro jobs and anti-business. >> what we have in washington today is a president and administration that doesn't like business. >> the anti-business, anti-market, anti-capitalism rhetoric. >> it was the most anti-small business administration i've seen probably since carter. >> this is certainly the most anti-business administration since the carter years.
12:18 am
>> america is on the cusp of having a government-run economy. that's where he's taking us. president obama is transforming america into something very different than the land of the free and the land of opportunity. >> i could be wrong but i think republicans might believe barack obama is anti-business, anti-busy think. this is the republican line of attack this election year. president obama, anti-business president. he's so anti-business that according to romney's vision, we won't have a private economy. but if president obama is so anti-business, engineering a hostile government takeover of the entire economy, he's hiding it very, very well because president obama's policies have, in fact, been very pro business. let's look at what can't lie, at what has happened in the corporate private business world. here's what corporate income taxes have looked like. see where tax receipts plunged? that's a recession, where barack
12:19 am
obama is becoming president. check this out. this is corporate profit over time. seems to be in pretty good shape. look at 2010. corporate profits at a percentage of gdp were at their highest levels since 1966. these profit margins do not look to be suffocating under some super dupe anti-business political regime. let's look at some of the actual business policies. the very first thing obama did after winning the election was to go to congress and say, hey i need to you pass the hideously unpopular second round of tarp bailout money to save the private financial industry. and he did that knowing it was going to be on his record, that everyone would hate him for that because everyone hated tarp but
12:20 am
he did it because if he hadn't, the bailout hadn't gone through, we would have been in danger of losing our banking system and private businesses would have not been able to access capital. obama could have gone in a different direction by listening to the many economists who told him to nationalize the banks but he didn't. left them under private management. then he had to usher through the auto bill, which mitt romney, even though he now denies it, said we shouldn't do, leave it to the private bankruptcy market, which didn't have the ability to finance them through bankruptcy at that point. that was the auto business implosion that could have been but barack obama saved it because he doesn't hate business. for a guy who is supposed to be the most anti-business president, he's taken a lot of risks to help private businesses running. the effective corporate tax rate, the amount businesses
12:21 am
actually pay in taxes was just 12% last year. the wall street journal points out that was the lowest corporate tax rate since 1972. and if republicans had helped him pass -- had helped obama pass the payroll tax cut he proposed for 2012 as part of the american jobs act, business taxes would be even lower this year. so if we're going to have a real serious discussion about obama's policy, one criticism can make is that he's been too pro business, he spent too much time trying to rescuing banks and too little time rescuing homeowners. maybe he's been too quick to come to accommodations with big corporations. that's fine. we can have that debate. we can have real discussions about whether or not president obama has had the right approach to business and economic policies. is he too soft on corporations or too hard on them? the idea he somehow only toll rates private enterprise because it provides tax revenues is out there beyond excessive exaggeration.
12:22 am
that's crazy town. look at all the electronics, they mac laptops and think, man, i wish that corporation didn't exist to make all these things but at least we get taxes from them. that's the argument governor jindal is trying to make about the president and his policies. but he knows better that that. probably because no one actually thinks like that, not even china thinks like that today. to find somebody who thinks like that, you need to fire up your hot tub time machine and send it to the soviet union, circa 1972. at this point rattling off wing nut level hyperbole is a republican party prerequisite this year, even unfortunately for the policy guys.
12:23 am
[ captain ] our landing time got moved back another hour. [ crowd chatters and groans ] ♪ [ male announcer ] hunger getting to you? ♪ grab a ritz crackerfuls. made with real cheese and whole grain. get hunger before it gets you. our cloud is made of bedrock. concrete. and steel.
12:24 am
our cloud is the smartest brains combating the latest security threats. it spans oceans, stretches continents. and is scalable as far as the mind can see. our cloud is the cloud other clouds look up to. welcome to the uppernet. and he didn't stop for three days and nights as he escaped life as a child soldier. twenty years later, he was still running, he just had a different thing driving him. every step of the way. ♪ visa. supporting athletes and the olympic games for 25 years. join our global cheer. thought they were dead. huh? [ male announcer ] should've used roundup. it kills weeds to the root, so they don't come back.
12:25 am
roundup. no root. no weed. no problem.
12:26 am
mitt romney likes to joke that, quote, you might have heard i was successful in business. and you might have. it's kind of what we call a humble brag. it's true. in april he told students in ohio who i they could do well, too. >> this kind of divisiveness, this attack of success is very
12:27 am
different than what we've seen in our country's history. we've always encouraged young people take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business. >> got that, kids? borrow money if you have to from your parents. start a business. that is mitt romney's advice to americans. mr. romney's economic strategy got a lot of attention, much of it sneering but that was his advice to the young entrepreneurs. it wasn't the first time. in a 1994 interview with ann romney, she explained how she and her husband made ends meet in college. "they were not easy years. you have to understand i was raised in a lovely neighborhood as was mitt and we moved into a $62 a month basement apartment. it was tiny. i didn't have money to carpet the floor. you can get remnants, samples. it looked awful.
12:28 am
>> nobody is saying that mitt romney got two degrees from harvard without being smart or that he became a success in business without parking hard. when he says would-be business owners should borrow money from their parents, he's talking about something real, about a common way that people in america, even non-rich people, do start a business. around the time he gave that advice about leaning on the family wealth, peter dimon told me "high earners tend to have high wealth. the rest of the population has very little access to wealth outside of their housing." what he's saying is the rich tend to get richer in part because they have wealth in the first place they can use to invest. if you have wealth or your
12:29 am
parents do, you can use it to open a store, start a firm, build a factory. you can try and you can fail and you can bounce back and try again. you're not living every moment on a tightrope. but if you're not rich already, then to the extent you have wealth, it probably in the value of your house. it's part of why we set up tax policy, to encourage homeownership in the country. for many americans, home sweet home has met wealth sweet weather, however modest. >> i think it's not good for the country and i think it does come from a difference in philosophy, which is the american idea is to promote equality of opportunity
12:30 am
so people can make the most of their lives. >> to a very real extent paul ryan and his fellow republicans are right. equality of opportunity is one of the most important elements in a dynamic economy. one of the key contributes to opportunity is wealth and inequality of wealth is even worse than inequality of income. in 2007 the top 1% had 21% of the national income share but 35% of the national wealth. and after the recession? it's not good. according to new figures from the federal reserve, the median net worth of families fell by almost 40%, 40% during the great recession. in 2010 americans found themselves at the economic level of 1992, two decades of economic progress wiped out in one horrifying freefall. most it have came because the value of homes fell draining their wealth. if you hold a lot of stocks, if
12:31 am
you invest in corporations or emerging markets, then bully for you. so wealth inequality is actually up, which means inequality of opportunity is up, too. joining us now is my colleague at the "washington post" and a reporter who spent a lot of time swimming around the new data from the federal reserve. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> so what happened here? 40% is very, very, very quick. it's a whole lost generation in wealth building if i'm not wrong. >> yeah, i think that's what's really interesting about this data is that the span of time that it has set us back, 20 years, that's before the internet was even widespread. i'm not even going to ask you how old you were, i'm not going to tell you how old i was at
12:32 am
that time but 20 years of wealth has been lost in just a three-year time period. that really puts perspective on both how deep the wounds of the financial crisis were and how long it could possibly take us to recover. we lost it in a very short period of time before we're not going to get it back in that period of time. we've seen the recovery be slow. >> when you look at economic data, the equity you have in your house is wealth. it's for most americans the main type of income they have. but does it feel that way to them? it's not liquid in the way can you sell a stock or sell a bond. if you sell a house, you need somewhere else to live, which is going to also cost you money. when we say we've lost 40% of our wealth, is that how it feels to people and does it have the knocks on the economy from that kind of wealth drop? >> there are two things. you say it not liquid but a lot of folks took out home equity loans and did tap into sort of
12:33 am
the rising paper value of their homes but more broadly it speaks something what we call the wealth effect that, even if you haven't realized the gains on your home or realized these increases in prices, that it makes you feel more wealthy and that can affect the way that you spend money, it can affect the way that maybe you go out to dinner more often, go shop at the mall more often. consumer spending is two third of gdp. you have the sense of people feel like i'm secure, i have a safety net. that can affect people's spending. now we're seeing the reverse happen, even if i didn't take out a he lock, i feel less wealthy because my home value is less and i'm going to alter my spending and behavior because of that. >> you can get a fair amount of money off a mortgage like that is they would start a small business. we've seen in the last couple of
12:34 am
years the lowest rate of new business creation we've seen for a very, very long time. so to go to the sort of underlying question here, is this kind of a loss in wealth going to lead to a different set of economic winters going forward? would we expect to see different folks at the top of the income ladder in 20 years because different folks will have the opportunity to invest those gains starting now? >> what the federal reserve found was there was mobility in the middle but not so much on the outside. you had the folks who were bad off to begin with, they stayed bad off. the folks who were at the top of the spectrum stayed at the top of the spectrum but you found that only half of the people who were in that middle class only stayed where they were in 2007. by the end of 2010. there was a lot of movement there. some folks went from being upper middle class to lower middle class, some went from being lower middle class to middle class.
12:35 am
there was movement in both directions but there was a lot of mobility in that area because of the volatile price of housing. so i think that you may see some, again, movement in the middle but to jump from the middle class to that top 10% requires an exponential leap in wealth. it increasingly hard to get to the top 1%. >> it is tuesday so you know what that means. somebody somewhere must be voting on something. and they are, all over the country. if you favored the blunt amendment in congress this year, has north dakota got a ballot measure for you. all the data on tonight's voting is coming up.
12:36 am
do you read in bed? do you read out loud or in your head? do you need a lamp to see? and does it leave your bedmate be? don't you wish there was a light that wouldn't keep them up all night? if so, you'll be happy to know, our newest nook now comes with glow. introducing nook simple touch with glowlight, the only e-reader made for bedtime reading. find your nook at your neighborhood barnes & noble. there's another way to help erase litter box odor. purina tidy cats. only tidy cats has new odor erasers... making it easy to keep things at home... just the way you want them. new tidy cats with odor erasers.
12:37 am
tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about that 401(k) you picked up back in the '80s. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like a lot of things, the market has changed, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and your plans probably have too. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so those old investments might not sound so hot today. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, we'll give you personalized recommendations tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 on how to reinvest that old 401(k) tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and help you handle all of the rollover details. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so talk to chuck tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and bring your old 401(k) into the 21st century. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 [ female announcer ] gross -- i'll tell you what's really gross: used dishcloths. they can have a history that they drag around with them. for a cleaner way to clean try bounty extra soft. in this lab demo, one sheet of bounty extra soft leaves this surface 3 times cleaner than a dishcloth. it's super durable too. it's the cleaner way to clean. bring it with bounty extra soft.
12:38 am
in the pink pack. and try bounty napkins. in the seven states across the country today it is election day. this is my first experience sit hearing while that election music plays. i see what rachel likes about it. it's inspiring. democracy! there are house or senate races and a special election in arizona where voters in the
12:39 am
eighth district are choosing between democrat ron barber and jesse kelly to fill out the rest of congresswoman gabriel gifford's terms. polls closed right before we went on the air. we're still waiting for results. mr. barber was there when she was injured and they were together when they cast their ballots. >> in virginia, 65 voted for george allen. and in the great state of north dakota, voters are deciding on four ballot initiatives, including one that would eliminate the property tax, and measure three would add a clause to the stays constitution saying government may not burden a person or religious organization's religious liberty unless the government proves it has a compelling governmental interest in doing so. a burden includes indirect burdens such as with holding
12:40 am
benefits, assessing penalties or an exclusion from programs or access to facilities. opponents of the measure say the language is too vague meaning a pharmacist may refuse to fill a birth control prescription. the measure isn't expected to pass but on election night, anything can happen so keep watching. [ male announcer ] what's in your energy drink?
12:41 am
♪ power surge, let it blow your mind. [ male announcer ] for fruits, veggies and natural green tea energy... new v8 v-fusion plus energy. could've had a v8. with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta.
12:42 am
taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbaa.lt dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to cymbalta.com to learn about a free trial offer. you know that comes with a private island? really? no. it comes with a hat. see, airline credit cards promise flights for 25,000 miles, but... [ man ] there's never any seats for 25,000 miles.
12:43 am
frustrating, isn't it? but that won't happen with the capital one venture card. you can book any airline, anytime. hey, i just said that. after all, isn't traveling hard enough? ow! [ male announcer ] to get the flights you want, sign up for a venture card at capitalone.com. what's in your wallet? uh, it's ok. i've played a pilot before. what's in your wallet? but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance.
12:44 am
i was worried it would be hard to install. but it's really easy. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. yeah. you're not... filming this, are you? aw! camera shy. snapshot from progressive. plug into the savings you deserve with snapshot from progressive. actually, we need to make a quick correction on something we literally just reported. polls in arizona are still open i did not know but russia apparently has its own paris
12:45 am
hilton. lucky them. russia's paris hilton goes to fancy society parties and movie premieres, much like our own paris hilton. she's photographed all over the place by the rug paparazzi, she's in the tabloids all the time, she's russia's "it" girl, at least that's what wikipedia tells me. but her father doesn't run hotels. he was friends with vladimir putin back in the day. it's rumored putin is the godfather to the russian paris hilton, which is going to be creating the invite list to her next birthday party a little awkward. she aligned herself this year with the anti-putin opposition movement. she shows oppositions on her mtv show, which was then promptly cancelled. russian authorities responded to her new found activist streak by raiding her apartment yesterday. she says they confiscated her passport and a lot of cash. gets they wanted to keep it safe for her. it's part of a concerted effort to prevent the opposition movement from successfully organizing another anti-putin protest today. it didn't work. between 10,000 and 50,000 people showed up in the freezing rain to protest the russian president. they marched through the bad weather and cold and mocked the government's efforts to stop
12:46 am
them. they did this even though the russian parliament passed a law fining anyone who damages property in the course of a protest. the fine is $9,000, more than the average russian makes in a year. before the planned march, a bunch of opposition leaders were brought into the police station for questioning for something totally unrelated to the protest, just happened to fall at the exact moment to prepare for the protest. it's very convenient that way in russia. opposition groups promoted this video, highlighting putin's wrist watch collection. the watches are high end to say the least according to the "moscow times" just one of them cost as much as half a million dollars, five times what the president officially makes in a year. i guess he's been saving up. last year the president was accused of letting russian businessmen build this mansion for him, you can land not just one helicopter there but three,
12:47 am
one for the president and two for his watch collections. normalizing trade reelections with russia would make at that cheaper to do business with trade countries. russia is one of the last friends that the brutal syrian regime has got. human rights groups estimate the syrian regime has killed at least 16,000 civilians. today the guy in charge of peacekeeping missions at the united nations said definitively the conflict had turned into an actual civil war, not just an uprising or protest or crackdown but an actual civil war. the u.n.'s annual report on kid in armed con police headquarters today. it found the syrian regime has tortured and killed kids. yesterday the syrian opposition said they took control temporarily of an important army base.
12:48 am
if true, that's what you would call a mutiny. syria isn't just attacking its own people with snipers. they're apparently also using attack helicopters. hillary clinton accused russia of sending a new round of gun ships to syria. it's unclear when they'll arrived or if there's anything the united states can do to stop them. >> josh, thank you for being here. hillary clinton's comments today came at a think tank. it wasn't a huge speech, not a big conflagration. is this business as normal or is this an escalation? have we changed policy. >> what hillary clinton denotes is a change in u.s. policy of one from trying to persuade russia of being a better actor in syria of one of trying to persuade russia to be an better
12:49 am
actor in syria. >> the state department also warned today that syria, that the u.s. is paying attention, the international community is paying attention, and that war crimes, in theory, could be prosecuted in the future. is this the type of threat that a regime like this, particularly a regime that is now seeing some mutiny, potentially, among its soldiers, would take seriously, or is it the type of threat that causes them to try to double down and hold on to power all the more? >> half of them will take it seriously and half of them will double down. >> which half?
12:50 am
>> we don't know. that's what we're trying to figure out. a big part of the administration's strategy is peel off those members of the regime who don't want to be associated with this brutal massacre and get them to turn on assad, so threatening them with war crimes and after actions is one way to help to encourage people to defect from assad and the people closest to him. >> this is somewhat reminiscent, this kind of escalation and circumstance of what happened in libya, in which we shortly thereafter created a no-fly zone. is that a possibility here? is that something people think could be a move downstream? >> the first thing obama administration officials will tell you, syria is not libya.
12:51 am
it's more complicated, more
12:52 am
but they can be really well thexpensive.ted a puppy, so to save money i just found them a possum. dad, i think he's dead. probably just playin' possum. sfx: possum hisses there he is. there's an easier way to save. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. you know how hard if yit can be to breathedo, and what that feels like. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open a full 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. and it's steroid-free. spiriva does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate.
12:53 am
these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. does breathing with copd weigh you down? ask your doctor if spiriva can help. [ male announcer ] ok, so you're no marathon man. but thanks to the htc one x from at&t, with its built in beats audio, every note sounds amazingly clear. ...making it easy to get lost in the music... and, well... rio vista?!! [ male announcer ] ...lost. introducing the musically enhanced htc one x from at&t. rethink possible.
12:54 am
12:55 am
as a former comic book geek, tonight's "moment of geek" is very close to my heart. it is about the brave inventors who are getting closer and closer to achieving the longtime dream of nerds everywhere -- becoming spider-man. recall the story of spider-man, if you will. peter parker, a young geek extraordinaire, gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gets superpowers. he becomes stronger, he becomes faster, he can sense danger. but less well-known is what comes next.
12:56 am
he's not all superpowers. he's sort of a geek hero. he uses his geek acumen to prevent a substance that mimics spiderwebs and allows him to climb walls. then he uses his machinist acumen to create web shooter things that go on his wrist that allow him to shoot it out in order to climb the walls. it is a story of a radioactive spider bite, but also science triumphing. we are trying to replicate it in laboratories across the country and there is a history of this sort of thing being tried. >> that is a so-called ascending aggie, a member of utah state's university engineering the department, scaling a brick wall on campus with the help of a device called a vertical ascender. if you're thinking, ezra, that is nothing new, i've saw tom cruise climb with suction gloves, yes, that's true. suction has been used in wall climbing before. and not just in movies. but this is different.
12:57 am
this isn't suction can cups on a smooth glass surface, it's a vacuum suction capable of lifting 300 pounds up a pitted surface, like a brick wall. just like spider-man. which is apparently of some interest to the u.s. military, specifically the air force research laboratory. they are the people who helped develop the x-37 space plane, the unmanned orbiter that is about to land after spending more than a year in space on a super secret mission. back here on the ground, the air force research laboratory sponsors a contest every year for college students to come up with innovative solutions to warfare challenges. this year the contestants had nine months to design a system that would let four special ops personnel scale buildings or mounted faces. seems like something there might be a need for, what with walled compounds that might need getting into, if you know what it mean. the entries were judged on weight, size, velocity,
12:58 am
usability, innovation, elegance, and stealth. i'm guessing the ascending aggies the didn't win on stealth, but maybe their next version will be quiet per. but if you're thinking, but, wait, i've seen videos on the internet of people climbing walls with vacuums strapped to their backs before, you are also very right. this is 13-year-old -- this is a 13-year-old british boy climbing a brick wall with a homemade device made out of two vacuum cleaners a couple of years ago. and he wasn't even the first to do that, but the aggies improved on the previous designs enough to win the contest, beating out this entry from the university of minnesota duluth, a robot vacuum-powered wall climber, which, guys, it is a vertical roomba that can clean your walls, which is amazing. but the aggies, they're like spider-man, and you don't get more awesomely geeking than that. so that is the best new geek thg. that tuz it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow night. until then, you can check out my work at wonkblog.com at "the washington post." now it's time for "the last
12:59 am
word with lawrence o'donnell." have a great evening. tonight, the tweets are in and we are close, very close, to announcing the winner in our name the romney campaign bus contest. >> we cannot afford the next four years going backwards. >> this election is about a fight who can make it morning in america again. >> this election is about the future. >> we want to see colorado's economy continue to grow, the economy in virginia has improved. >> president obama will stand by the middle class. >> mitt romney is not the champion in the middle class. >> he says if you want to cut firefighters and teachers. >> that's a very strange accusation. >> are we even fair, or was that walkback? >> the federal government doesn't pay for teachers, firefighters, or policemen. >> does that mean that there will be fewer teachers? yes. >> obviously, that's completely absurd. the president is really out of touch. >> does mitt romney have a transparency problem? >> this is an unusual interview. all right.
left
right